Pad Thai Tamagoyaki first appeared in publication in my Simply Singapore cookbook, as a bonus recipe, in anticipation of the next book. One of my many cookbooks in-waiting is a collection of original amuse-bouche recipes and ideas, many of which got christened over the years at catering jobs.
However, I got snowed under by the increasing demands for my online cooking classes, then of course as you might know, we went travelling. Now that I’m back, once again, I find myself inundated with requests for new classes. So since it looks like the next cookbook, whatever it may be, is still another year or so away, I figured I should share this with you, one of my favourite amuse-bouche recipes!
This is a fusion dish – Thai and Japanese. The flavours are Thai, while the method, that is the egg roll, the tamagoyaki, is Japanese.
Pad Thai is, quite possibly, Thailand’s most famous export! I’m a huge fan and it’s one of the first things I teach in my Thai cookery classes. In this recipe, we will be cooking some rice vermicelli noodles (bee hoon) with pad thai flavours, and making omelette rolls with them, which are then sliced and topped with simply sautéed salt and pepper prawns/shrimps.
Handy Hints for making Pad Thai Tamagoyaki
I use thin rice noodles here, instead of the traditional pad thai ribbon noodles – they make for neater bundles.
If using dried noodles, it’s better to err on the side of caution and undersoak, you can always add more liquid to the cooking process to cook the noodles.
If oversoaked, you’ll end up with a soggy, sticky mess!
1 heaped tbsp of pulp or 1 tbsp of jar tamarind paste, mixed with 50ml/2fl oz water. If using the pulp, squeeze the juice out, through a little sieve, discarding the seeds. Click on the title above to read more about tamarind.
We want unsalted and roasted. I usually get them raw and roast/toast them in a dry frying pan on low heat myself.
Let cool, then chop to a medium grind. We will scatter the peanuts all over the finished product so they want to be fairly coarse, uneven is perfectly fine.
You can pulse them in a chopper, by hand in a pestle and mortar or put them in a bag and go over them with a rolling pin – whatever is easiest for you!
An essential ingredient in South East Asian cooking, and a necessary umami flavour in pad thai. However, if you cannot get hold of this, skip it altogether, you will still get lovely noodles. If you like, you could always slice some shiitake mushrooms up pretty finely and cook them with the noodles, to add flavour. Shiitakes are full of umami.
- 150g/5oz fresh rice noodles or equivalent dried 1 tsp vegetable or peanut oil
- 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
- a handful beansprouts
- 2 blades spring onions, sliced thinly
- 1 tsp dried shrimp, chopped in a chopper until you get floss (leave out if unavailable)
- 12 toothpicks, cut to size as required 1-2 tbsp roasted peanuts
- 1 lime, cut into thin slices
- fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
- Pad Thai Sauce
- 50ml/2fl oz fish sauce
- 50ml/2fl oz tamarind juice (see Handy Hints above) 2 tsp palm sugar
- quarter – half tsp chilli flakes
- pinch chilli powder
- 6 eggs
- vegetable oil as necessary pinch of salt
- Salt and Pepper Prawns/Shrimps
- 12 large prawns/shrimps salt and pepper
- juice of half a lime
- 1 tsp peanut or vegetable oil
- We are aiming to make 3 omelettes, with each omelette giving us 4 portions.
- Grease a 22cm/9in frying pan and fry 3 omelettes in batches. The frying pan measurements are approximate and it doesn’t have to be a square or rectangular one like in the picture.
- Make the omelettes in the usual way.
- Set them aside on a plate as we make the noodles.
- Let’s make the sauce first.
- Put the sauce ingredients and half the chilli flakes into a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Taste it (yep, you’ll get used to it!) and make sure that it’s hot enough. Add more if you need it.
- Don’t put too much chilli in at once. If you don’t have palm sugar, use white sugar.
- That’s it, it’s done!
- Now the actual noodles. If using dried noodles, follow the instructions on the packet on how to soften them. This usually involves soaking them in warm water for about 10 minutes or so. Undersoak rather than Oversoak (see Handy Hints above).
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan or medium wok over medium heat and fry the garlic for 30 seconds.
- Add the beansprouts and half the pad thai sauce and cook for a minute. We need the beansprouts to be soft for easy rolling.
- Add the noodles and the rest of the pad thai sauce and keep stirring to cook the noodles for one minute.
- Turn the heat off and place on a cool hob to stop the noodles from overcooking.
- Sprinkle the spring onions/scallions and dried shrimp floss all over and mix right through. Leave until cool enough to handle.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over a fairly high heat, until almost smoking but not quite.
- Add the prawns (in 2 batches if your pan isn’t large enough). We are searing the prawns and want them to char; if the pan is overcrowded, you will be steaming/stewing your prawns instead.
- Cook the prawns for about a minute on each side. Keep aside.
- We will be making 3 tamagoyaki rolls (omelette rolls) with the noodles as filling.
- Place one omelette onto a clean work surface or large plate.
- Take about one third of the noodles and place them on the omelette, about a third of the way up from you. Make sure the noodles are in a cylindrical shape, like a thin sausage.
- Lift the end closest to you and roll it over the noodles, tucking the omelette under to make tight and neat bundles.
- Keep rolling until the end and place the tamagoyaki with the folded edge down.
- Take a clean sharp knife and cut off the two ends to get flat ends. Tip: Wipe the knife with a paper towel before each new cut, so you won’t be smearing the tamagoyaki.
- Cut your roll up into 4 little bundles and set aside; they can be placed on their cut side and should be pretty sturdy.
- Repeat with the other 2 omelettes and the rest of the noodles.
- Choose your serving dish, 12 side plates will work perfectly. Place a roll on each plate.
- Take a toothpick, you will probably have to cut it slightly to size. Spear each prawn almost all the way, with the sharp end of the toothpick. It doesn’t want to go right through.
- Push the other end of the toothpick into the centre of the rolls. The prawns will be upright on the roll.
- Repeat with the rest of the prawns and rolls.
- Place the thinly cut limes alongside each roll, scatter the chopped peanuts and coriander all over and serve.
- Each diner can squeeze the lime over his or her amuse-bouche if he or she wishes.